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Sweet Leopard - Horny House

Sweet Leopard
Horny House
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 10 October 2017, 7:36 AM

Ahhh…the sweet days of Glam Metal. Hairspray, bleached jeans with holes in them, frilly accessories, chest hair, animal printed boots, spandex with ballet slippers, and more blond mugs than you can count. Oh, and then there is the music as well. No one can quite remember where this started exactly, and with what bands, but ALICE COOPER and KISS were surely early frontrunners. The Los Angeles, California scene was bursting with these bands in the early-to mid-1980’s, and many of the bands were successful because they made a product that a lot of women enjoyed as well, both visually and musically. Dissed by critics for an over reliance on image, much of the music was actually quite good. Though many of the bands were killed circa 1991 when the Grunge scene arose, some managed to stay alive quite well after, and there have been newer bands like THE DARKNESS, STEEL PANTHER, and SANTA CRUZ to name a few that have some staying power today. I wasn’t able to gather much information on SWEET LEOPARD however, save for this being their third album from the Ostrava, Czech Republic quartet. So, let’s dive right in.

“More than God” leads off the album. It’s pretty much what you might expect…the guitar riff leads the sound and the vocals are harmonized in the chorus. It’s not winning any points for originality however, and is just a bit thin…successful bands in this genre were able to add more punch to the sound. “Fairytale” is a bit of a more simple sound, like something you might hear from AC/DC with a Punk influence of sorts. “Heart of Stone” is a little closer to the mark but still remains thin for me and the lead vocals are just a little pitchy. The riff is easy to understand however if you don’t overthink the listen. “I Don’t Want to See You Again” has a twinge of old school Southern Rock that reminds me of POISON in many ways. In fact that opening riff is very close to “Talk Dirty to Me.” “Chicks for Money” has that raucous sound that you want to hear in the genre, with a wah-wah laden opening riff and a bit of a faster pace.

Waiting for that “Power Ballad” to surface comes from track seven, “Princess of Decadence.” It had potential for impact but remains too fragile. You gotta crank up those vocals and the riff so the chorus slams in and decimates everything around you. “Under Stars” is another softer number, with acoustical guitars and a mid-tempo pace, and with despondent tones. It’s easy to listen to and I think they do a better job of connecting melodies here than on other tracks. “Burning Love” talks about “girls, girls, girls, and mmm, mmm, mmm.” The riff is bright and the jovial melody is pleasing. “Something N’Bad in your Head” closes the album. Vocals and percussion open the sound, with guitar and bass joining in shortly thereafter. It never quite takes off the ground however.

I think they have a good foundation for their take on the genre, but it just lacks that thickness that their forefathers had. Good Glam Metal isn’t just about the image and easy formula for the foundation of the sound. Bands that had staying power knew when to turn it on and the importance of layering, not just in the vocals, but also in the instrumentation. A big, fat, distorted riff and balls-out chorus can go a long way in making up average musicianship. Not saying that is the case here, but if they want to stay around, I think they have to find ways to make more of an impact.

Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. More than God
2. Fairy Tale
3. Heart of Stone
3. I Don’t Wanna See You Again
5. Chicks for Money
6. Look for Love
7. Princess of Decadence
8. H.F.P.
9. Night of Gold
10. Under Stars
11. Burning Love
12. Something ‘N Bad in your Head
Lineup:
Sany Angelo – Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitars
Michael Kit – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jane Cat Smith – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
DogFox Pedro – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Record Label: City of Lights Records
     


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